Proverbs 2121 Chasing After Righteousness Part 3
"Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness"

" will find life, righteousness, and honor." (Proverbs 21:21)

I've been stalling on this final look at Proverbs 21:21, because the whole idea of acts of righteousness gets us into the faith vs. works mind set that I want to avoid. As we've already established, our righteousness is not our own. There is nothing we can DO to be made righteous, it's a gift we receive. However, God tells us to "pursue righteousness," so how do we practically do that?

God already knows which sheep are His - so He is already seeing us as righteous. But, how is righteousness in us made evident to others? What do we need to DO before men to give honor and glory to God? Indeed, Jesus told us we are to do this:

"In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 5:16)

What we do - anything we do or say - is for the purpose of bringing glory to God, not to ourselves.

"WHATEVER YOU DO, work heartily, AS FOR THE LORD AND NOT FOR MEN, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. "(Col 3:23-24)

Whether it's as a mommy to toddlers, as a grandmother, as a friend and neighbor, as a coworker, as a Sunday School teacher, as a window washer - whatever the job is or whatever task we're given - we need to remember that our primary purpose is to glorify God. So I'm going to put my heart into doing it the best way possible, with integrity, because it is a response of gratitude to God for what He has done for me. My motivation should be love for God, not personal gain or glory.

So it's NOT faith VS. works. Works are the CONSEQUENCE of salvation not the CONDITION for it. It's faith DEMONSTRATED by works. When Abraham was commended in the "roll call of faith" (Hebrews, chapter 11) it was because he demonstrated his faith by his actions. His actions did not save Abraham - God had already chosen him and had made the covenant with Abraham hundreds of years before the law was given to Moses. But his actions showed the world (including us) that he had faith.

"By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God." (Hebrews 11:8-10)

Active faith requires steps of faith. Making choices all along in our walk with God to BELIEVE Him - that He is who He says He is and that He can do what He says He can do. Our faith is in Him and our righteousness is His, so we know we're secure. When we choose to believe Him, and act accordingly, the world will see His righteousness.

Today in church I had a real "Aha!" moment. Our pastor has just started a series on faith, and he reminded us that our faith is fact-based. The object of our faith is the Creator of the universe. So when we are taking steps of faith, whether in the midst of major decisions or trials, or in minor things, we can be confident because our faith is NOT in ourselves, but God!

Now, even though I know that, I have been wavering in a big decision, because I have been lacking confidence in my own abilities. It struck me like lightning today that I DON'T have the abilities - GOD does! Therefore, I can boldly step where I think He's leading me, because HE is the one who will do it! My righteousness is not my own and neither are my abilities! I am feeling the blessing of the 23rd Psalm:

"He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness FOR HIS NAME'S SAKE." (Psalm 23:3) Thank you, LORD!